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| Published: March 31, 2021

Dance Movement Therapy: An experimental approach for the persons with Autism

Sar Choudhury Jayasree

Psychologist, Dept of Psychiatry, NRS Medical college & Hospital, Kolkata, India Google Scholar More about the auther

, Banerjee Mallika

Dean, Dept of Psychology, Techno India University, Retd. Professor, Dept of Psychology, University of Calcutta, India Google Scholar More about the auther

DIP: 18.01.140/20210901

DOI: 10.25215/0901.140


Dance as a creative therapy, is performing expressive art was considered as a part of healing procedure for thousands of years. Based on the assumption that body and mind are interrelated, Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) is a kind of psycho-therapeutic process where movements are used for emotional, cognitive and physical integration of the individual. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is kind of neurodevelopmental disorder in which client suffers more or less with emotional, social, communication issues, with stereotyped movements, cognitive issues, unique strength or differences which might make them vulnerable in school or home set up; where DMT is one of the new modalities of mind-body medicine that are receiving widespread attention as alternative therapy in the medical field. The research question is to find out whether DMT can enhance Span of Attention, Emotional Recognition and Socialization of persons with Autism or not.  35 participants, suffering from Autism, age range from 11 to 17, were selected with using diagnostic tool named Autism Diagnostic Checklist. Stimulus card of span of attention, software of emotional recognition and Socialization Domain of Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (II) were used respectively to assess span of attention, emotional recognition and socialization of the participants having autism. Pre measure of above said three dependent variables on baseline session were taken first then DMT was introduced to selected people with 20 sessions. Sessions were designed with warm up, incubation, illumination and evaluation phase using principals of DMT. Laban movement analysis with prop utilization method were mainly used for enhancing span of attention, Nabarasa with mirroring technique were used for emotional recognition. Limon based exercise, Feldenkrais Method and Contact improvisations were used as supporting method of DMT. Immediate measure just after completion of intervention and post measure after one month and three months, DMT was not practiced within this period, were taken to see the effect of DMT and longevity of this therapy respectively. Statistical analysis has revealed significant positive effect of DMT on span of attention, emotional recognition and socialization of people with autism which may help them to carry out any task that demands attention and make them understand others’ emotional intention in comparison to that of before taking DMT session and some social skills that helps to make their wellbeing enhanced in future.

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ISSN 2348-5396

ISSN 2349-3429



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Published in   Volume 09, Issue 1, January-March, 2021